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Jun 15, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 12)

Welcome to the Mouse Proteome Project

URL:tap.med.utoronto.ca/mts
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If you have any doubts about the quality of this database, take comfort in the fact that its creators are from the Best Institute for Medical Research (no joke) at the University of Toronto. This database presents the protein content of six organs (liver, lung, placenta, brain, heart, and kidney) in the mouse, which is further characterized by cellular compartment (cytosol, membranes, mitochondrion, nucleus). How did the researchers do this, you ask? Through a lot of work. Just reading about their “exhaustive mass spectrometry-based shotgun sequencing” made my head hurt. The result is comprehensive and nicely organized, with numerous ways to search and sort the information. There is also a BLAST feature whereby one can input an amino acid sequence and search the database. All in all, it’s a useful tool for researchers.

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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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